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  -Part 1 :: [02.13.02]
  -Part 2 :: [03.16.02]
  -Part 3 :: [10.06.02]
  -Part 4 :: [06.14.03]
  -Part 5 :: [08.04.04]
  -Part 6 :: [10.25.04]
  -Part 7 :: [03.02.05]
  -Part 8 :: [03.02.05]
  -Part 9 :: [12.19.07]
  -Part 10 :: [12.19.07]
  -Part 11 :: [02.17.13]


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"A few of the pots morph into what appear to be segments of a long insect, and they join up with the others to make a centipede out of pot spiders. Okay, so it's terrifying to anyone with insect issues, it's a pain in the ass, and it's vaguely phallic. Yet there must have been several people, at least, who thought this was a good idea. They're now all on my ever-growing list of People Who Need a Good Crotch-Punching."
     -Sam, Kingdom Hearts Part 7




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Skies of Arcadia : Part 3
By Jeanne
Posted 10.06.02
Pg. 1 : 2 : 3
Poor, poor Skies of Arcadia, how I have neglected thee. It's been six and a half months since we left Dyne and the other Ass Pirates (except for our heroes) in the Valuan dungeons (and Fina to whatever fate the Imperials have planned for her), and I know you're just dying to know what happens. Unless you've played the game, then you already know. Just play along, okay?

I won't try to save my husband; I'll let you guys do that. But...I can knit. Yeah, that'll help him!
 

Vyse and Pippi board their dinky little ship and set off for Valua. The village kids see them off, but the adults can't be bothered with such pointless things as supporting the two people who are going off to save their loved ones. Pippi tells Vyse to head north to reach Valua. It's just another fact that you think he would already know, but the people around him don't seem to share that belief.

There's We're So Cool, We're Going to Kick Some ASS! music in the background as Vyse spouts some heroic catchphrases, and then they're off! Oh, that's nice -- Vyse's mom manages to show up just in time to watch them leave. The triumphant music cuts off suddenly as we go into Crappy Random Battle game mode. That's where I get to control the ship and run into annoying random battles every two seconds.

Vyse and Pippi head north, until they reach a rock tunnel in between the impassable cloud waterfall thingy and the impassible wall of boulders. There's a lot of fog, which, according to Pippi, is quite unusual. Uh-oh. Something bad is going to happen. Some Uh-oh! Something Bad is Going to Happen! music begins playing as something big and scary emerges from the fog. Yikes! It's....a giant purple whale. Oh, game designers, was the number of phallic symbols in the last hour of gameplay not enough for you?

 
Why, thank you.

Vyse tells us that the proper name for this beast is an "arcwhale". This doesn't matter to us -- all we need to know is that it's big, purple, and pissed off. Like Barney the Dinosaur, except for the pissed off part. Vyse and Pippi are in danger, and I have the opportunity to choose what Vyse is going to do. I pick "Retreat", and that's the right answer because the little "You chose...wisely" sound effect plays. Not that it was too difficult of a decision -- attacking the thing would be about as successful as a woman trying to have sex with Squall, or me trying not to call Tidus a wanker.

As soon as Pippi says "We'll be okay as long as it doesn't see us," the arcwhale sees them. Well, what did you expect? It blows its hot whale breath at the ship, which breaks up, causing Vyse and Pippi to plunge to their deaths. And that's the end of the game.

I kid. Vyse and Pippi wake up on an Obligatory Just-In-Time Rescue Ship. The captain is a big scary-looking old guy with a scar over his right eye (no, he's not Auron) and an artificial arm (no, he's not Barret). His name is given only as "Man with an Artificial Arm". I'm sure he really enjoys his entire personality, all his emotions and thoughts and dreams, being stuffed into that one unflattering label. Today his anger is for a different reason, however. "Because of you two, Rhaknam got away!" he informs Vyse and Pippi. For those of you who are a little slow, Rhaknam is the giant whale. Even a "thank you" from Vyse isn't enough to appease MwaAA's anger. He punches Vyse in the face, knocking him to the ground. I think that MwaAA needs to make a guest appearance in Final Fantasy X and do the same to Tidus.

"Owwwww...I'm not sure why, but I keep getting hurt today..." Vyse whines. I guess he hasn't quite made the connection between "finding lots of healing items/learning healing spells" and "hmm, maybe this means I'm going to get hurt a lot". "Hey!!! What are you doing, you crusty...err, rusty...old man?! He didn't do anything!" Pippi yells. For a pirate, she sure needs to brush up on her cursing.

Man with an Artificial Arm suddenly changes his name to Man with the Artificial Arm -- but don't get confused. It's still the same guy. MwtAA justifies his abuse of Vyse by saying that he's "been chasin' after that arcwhale for years!!!" Um...it's not that hard to find, dude. It's really fucking big.

Vyse apologizes, but MwtAA just keeps on bitching because he's the crusty old captain. The crusty old Exposition captain, that is. He's all "I almost captured him, but he got away because of you meddling kids.", and there's some more stuff about how they're lucky that he was there to catch them. Really? I bet they thought they'd be better off if they'd plunged to their deaths. Talk about pointing out the obvious. Vyse and Pippi's ship didn't fare so well either -- it's been ripped apart like Squall's clothes after Seifer gets a hold of him. Pippi takes a moment to realize what this means. "What?! Our ship...was destroyed?" Yes. It was destroyed.

MwtAA cuts them no slack because he's old and all old people are bitter and mean. "Now, this isn't a passenger ship. Everyone on board needs to pull their own weight." There's nothing better than manual labor after nearly dying from a fall, I tell you what. "If you don't like it, you can jump off...I need to keep the load as light as possible anyway." Vyse and Pippi are not too happy about this.

Yeah, Vyse, that really makes you look straight.
 

The ship moves majestically through the sky as the camera fades out. Okay, so it's not that majestic. I'm just trying to make this more interesting, all right? Fade in on Vyse talking to MwtAA on the bridge. This is the part where, for some ungodly reason, the game designers decided to stick in some random pointless chores (the mini version of fetch quests, only more pointless). MwtAA tells Vyse to go downstairs and bring the two boxes up to the bridge. This is where my gaming skills can really shine. At no moment do I feel prouder to be a gamer than now, where I get to pick up a box in one area and move it to another area.

Vyse agrees to this dumb chore, and then tries to ask where the ship is going, because of all that unimportant stuff where he has to save all the other Ass Pirates. MwtAA gets pissy. "Where this ship is goin' is none of your concern. Now get moving!" Eep. Vyse slinks downstairs, like a bitch that has just been bitchslapped. The boxes in question are really heavy (according to Vyse, who may just be a wuss), and I get the "pleasure" of hearing Vyse grunt and moan all the way to the bridge, after he whines about MwtAA working them to death. He acts like he's never had to carry a fricking heavy box before. This part is extra fun because Vyse can't walk very quickly while carrying the box, and so it takes forever to get from point A to point B.

MwtAA (who is now back to MwaAA because the game designers can't even keep one fricking article in the guy's fake name consistent) checks Vyse out during this process and finally asks him his name. "My name is Vyse," says Vyse (duh), "I'm a Blue Rogue. I used to do this type of grunt work on the pirate ship." Wha? Um, then why was he acting like...never mind. I guess expecting them to stay consistent in the same damn scene is just expecting too much.

MwtAA wants to know what two Ass Pirates are doing flying around all by themselves. Vyse suddenly clams up about their reasons, but insists they need to get to Valua. MwtAA needs a reason, dagnabbit. The game designers do the "blacking out of unnecessary explanation" so that Vyse can retell the entire story thus far. MwaAA is not shy about his opinion. "Hrmph...tryin' to pick a fight with the Armada? You've got to be out of your mind, boy." It seems that MwaAA is not aware of the fact that Vyse is the hero yet. And when he does realize it, I'm sure he will do the biggest 180 since the end of FFVIII's disc 2 and become best buddies with Vyse.

Unfortunately for Vyse and Pippi, MwaAA has no interest in getting involved in their plan. Despite this, Vyse decides that it's a good idea to ask MwaAA about his life; namely, why MwaAA is chasing the giant purple monster. Uh-oh. MwaAA doesn't seem to appreciate this sort of prying, so he orders Vyse to go get the other box. Good going, Vyse. Then Vyse decides to speak in Wankese for some reason. Only he missed the first class of Wankese 101 where the teacher explained that Wankese is never said aloud. "Great. I spill my guts, he keeps quiet...and then makes me do more work! What's with this guy?" Fortunately, MwaAA is old and is losing his hearing or something, because he doesn't hear Vyse, who stands ten feet away.

After another pointless minute of box carrying, bitching, and grunting, Vyse talks to MwaAA again. This time MwaAA tells Vyse to take the helm. What he means, for those of you out there with sick minds, is that Vyse gets to steer the ship. "What? Are you really letting me?", Vyse gasps, his mouth wider than Squall's during....never mind. "I want to see how well you can sail. If you can't sail, then you'll be loadin' boxes the rest of the trip!" MwaAA says. Vyse had better be a damn good sailor, or I'll kick his ass.

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